Saturday’s Discount Officially Has a New Owner Today
Most Leadville shoppers probably won’t experience the slight shift south of town today, as Saturday’s Discount officially changes owners. There isn’t any big fanfare or “back-patting” ceremony planned.
And maybe that’s just as well, because it would seem somewhat out of place for the retail/food/gas/ liquor store, which has quietly, methodically, and successfully grown since its humble beginnings over 13 years ago.
“We opened the store in July of 2001 and we’ve built it to what it is today: a very successful store,” said the store’s founder Frank Nickel, who will officially transfer ownership of the store today. But before the new owner is introduced, here’s Frank Nickel with the reason that he and his wife Teresa decided to sell:
“I want to watch my grand kids grow up and I want my grand kids watch me grow old.”
Several months ago, Nickel continued to explain, my wife and I were sitting down and we’re looking at our kids, and our grand kids and I wrote down on a piece of paper: What are the most important things in my life?
God number one, my wife number two, my kids number three,my grand kids number four, my country number five, and Saturday’s discount number six.
Then I wrote down how many times a year I visit each one of these things: The first, 52 WEEKS a year; 365 days a year for my wife; I have two kids I visit once a year; I have six grandchildren of the 15 that I visit once a year; and Saturday’s I visited 365 days a year.
So we decided that after 64 years of working – I have been working since I was nine, I am now 73 – that it’s time to get our priorities in line.
“The last thing I want,” concluded Nickel, “is to be laid up in a casket at St. Joe’s and have my grandkids come up and say ‘Who is that?’ I want to have a good relationship with my kids and my grand kids.”
And so began the process of not just selling the business, but also finding the right buyer. Once the For Sale sign went up, about six people expressed interest in buying the store, explained Nickel, and probably three of those would have done well.
“We selected the one that we think is going to do the very best,” he stated confidently.
Congratulations to Saturday’s Discount new owner: Gregg Kall! And fortunately, shoppers will find a familiar, not new, face among the aisles. In fact, Kall was the Leadville Safeway’s Assistant Manager for the past four years.
He originally hails from the East Coast in New Jersey. However, Gregg’s 25 years in the retail business have had him “following the work,” criss-crossing the country from coast to coast, and places in between.
“But now, as my wife Theresa would say, we’re looking forward to ‘nailing the furniture down’ and making a life,” said Kall. Like the Nickels, running the store will be a family affair. Kall’s son Brian will be managing the store, and their younger son Andrew will also be helping. Regular customers will also continue to see veteran staff Claudia and Sierra behind the counter.
Customers won’t see too many changes with the new ownership.
“Saturday’s is a household name, so things will stay pretty much the same,” explained Kall. “I don’t want to change what Frank has done over the years, he’s done a terrific job!”
Although, like any new owners, Kall does have some changes he plans to implement along the way. He did hint that trying to bring customers in during the off-season would be one of his first goals, so locals should keep an eye out for some enticing specials.
The change in ownership will also mean, saying goodbye to Frank’s daughter Lanora, who worked alongside her Dad for years, always smiling, friendly and helpful. But you’ll still see the entire Nickel family around town. Lanora’s husband Steve Sibert works for Colorado Department of Transportation and they’re “not going anywhere.” Frank echoed the same plans for himself and wife Teresa, “this is our home.”
“If I was going to miss anything about this store after I leave,” said Nickel thoughtfully, “it would be my customers, because they’re the best, whether they come from Leadville or Lake Fork. Thanks to the people who have come here to shop.”
Saturday’s Discount is located south of Leadville at 12655 US Highway 24, or what is commonly known as the “Malta Curve.” The store sells food, propane, liquor, gasoline, fishing tackle & supplies, and discounted items. Saturday’s is open seven days a week. 719-486-5700.